The wedding was no spur-of-the-moment occasion. Kenny proposed to Chelsea on February 11, 2016. From that day on, and especially the past 6 months, the details of the wedding location, the dress, decor…anything wedding-related pretty much took over our lives. I’ve gained a true appreciation for wedding planners & coordinators. How these people pull everything off without strangling a person or throwing their hands up in the air and storming out, I honestly don’t know.
(1) PLAN AHEAD. Whether your wedding is 4 weeks, 4 months or 4 years away, plan ahead. Trust me, you’ll appreciate it when your wedding week rolls around and a lot of stuff has already been done or taken care of. Allow plenty of time to order, review, and ship things that need to be special ordered or customized - like invitations, the ever-important dress, and your bridal party’s outfits. Book your photographer (if you're looking for one in Kentucky, Kevin & Anna Photography do an excellent job!), caterer and location far in advance to ensure you get what and who you want.
(2) NEED IDEAS? PINTEREST IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. There are sooo many decisions to make. If you don’t already have a Pinterest account, now is the time to sign up for one. Have no idea what you want your wedding to be like? Fortunately Pinterest has it’s own wedding category where thousands of people have saved ideas for dresses, decor, wedding signs, cakes, flowers, color combinations…you name it, it’s probably there. Chelsea’s original wedding Pinterest board turned into 5 or 6 as we worked out the details. Several people even include step by step pictures/instructions on how they made different items. Don’t be afraid to use these and put your own spin on them!
(3) HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN. Murphy’s Law - If anything can go wrong, it will. There are some elements of a wedding that no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t control them. Weather is a big one. If you’re having an outdoor wedding - have a back up plan. Where will you go if it rains/snows or you have wind blowing 60 mph? Can you take some of your decorations with you to an alternate location? Better to figure this out now rather than on the big day.
We chose to do a lot of things ourselves for the wedding, with the goal of saving money, and let’s be honest, for the plain fact that nothing my family ever does is simple! Here are a few examples of the DIY components of Chelsea’s wedding and how they came about.
Every wedding needs the perfect spot for the couple to say "I do," right? Since the wedding took place in a field, with a pond and fountain in the background, the pergola was a great solution, offering an arch way of sorts for the wedding and serving as a stand for a swing the rest of the time. Mom found a design she liked on Pinterest, put her woodworking skills into practice, and over the course of a couple weekends with help from the wedding team the pergola was in place.
Pinterest link for design: www.pinterest.com/pin/342625484141167771/
Chelsea also wanted to make sure that everyone in the wedding party could be easily seen during the ceremony. This meant we needed some sort of platform to stand on. Our local feed mill graciously let us borrow several pallets which worked perfectly! The top of each pallet was covered by a piece of 1/2" plywood, stained to match the color of the pergola.
Quick tip: When plywood gets wet, it tends to bend and contort in different ways. Store it away from moisture as much as possible; and fasten it to the pallets with screws so it saves you time if you have to remove or adjust a piece later. Also, not all pallets come in the same size!
No matter how clear the written directions are, or how correct the GPS is, signs are always helpful for getting wedding guests to the right locations. In our case, signs were necessary to navigate guests to and through the farm to the field where the ceremony was taking place. We utilized white balloons in key spots along the road, and then paint and some recycled barn wood, along with straw bales to guide people once they arrived at the farm.
Keep in mind, parking signs are often read as suggestions. If there is a particular place your guests need to park (or do not need to block), I'd recommend having an actual parking attendant.
Sticking with the rustic, country theme, we used a burlap aisle runner with lace borders along both sides. Again, these can be purchased, but they'll cost you anywhere from $50 or more. Mom purchased a bolt of burlap, and then sewed lace borders on both sides of the burlap. The burlap serves well outdoors, as it's color doesn't show dirt as easily. It does become pretty heavy when it gets wet though.
To prevent the material from bunching or moving around due to wind, we secured it to the ground with landscape staples.
Quick tip: Burlap tends to shed fibers very easily. Have a lint roller ready!
The reception is another area where you can personalize and save a few dollars by decorating yourself, especially if you take on table decor and place settings. Again, if you decide to take this on, make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to order supplies and assemble the decor.
A few quick tips:
- If you don't have/want a lot of tulle, tobacco canvas can give you the same white, semi-sheer look and goes a long way.
- Want to decorate with lights? Hit up the stores right after Christmas to grab them when they're on sale.
- Utilize battery-powered candles to save the time and hassle of lighting real candles. They even have some now that come with timers and a remote!
- Old windows work well for displaying photos or seating charts, just make sure you have something steady to hold them.
- Depending on your theme, craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michael's have a variety of wedding decor and supplies you can utilize!
Continuing the rustic & fall oriented theme, we used real wood slices, burlap table runners, and lace for the main components of the centerpieces. Accents included small lanterns (with battery operated candles), fall-colored leaves, white pumpkins, and miniature blue corn.
For table numbers, we went with a basic 4" tall wooden number on a stand (available on Amazon). Also on the table where photos of Kenny and Chelsea at that age (so table 1 had photos of them at 1 year old). Belinda, Kenny's mom, designed pulled all those together for us!
We rented the blue table linens, and purchased all of the plates, cups, and flatware via Amazon.
Chelsea wanted a wedding favor that was both affordable and that her guests could use. Several of the pre-assembled flower seed packets were pricey, but we avoided extra costs by buying the flower seed paper and plastic seed bags in bulk. Botanical Paperworks offers many different seed paper and card options! The bags were about the same size as a business card, so we played around with a few designs, then printed them on perforated business card paper. Voila!
Now to just get the GoPro wedding video footage edited...more on that later!